“Shut Up And Dance” is a refreshing episode in the BLACK MIRROR universe as it’s one that could quite easily take place right here right now. It isn’t set in any dystopian world or some miserable bleak place, instead it’s about a young boy being filmed in his bedroom through his webcam.
Its simple, Kenny (Alex Lawther) is doing the dirty deed everyone young boy does and is filmed through his webcam. Little does he know, he’s being watched and it’s all recorded by a mysterious person or peoples. Kenny soon after gets a mystery text saying he has to do everything they say otherwise they’ll leak the video everywhere.
Kenny finds himself ‘activated’ quickly after and must race to get to a location meeting another helpless person in the same situation. The pair exchange a box and again Kenny is dragged into it all with he notion if he does what they say he’s free. He departs, racing to another place to deliver the package just in time to a mystery hotel room. There he meets Hector (Jerome Flynn) and the pair now have to team up to get whatever is in the box to a certain place.
Throughout Kenny is seemingly at the end of his journey before being whipped back into the task at hand. The pairing of himself and Hector is brilliant as the pair just play off each other in their reckless deeds they have done and Kenny’s stuttering, helpless character just makes you feel sorry for the kid (for the moment that is.)
The episode is a series of escalating dares, to get an object and deliver it, then to open the cake and find a gun and disguise to rob a small bank. Hector takes a back seta forcing Kenny into the difficult position, which he does so seemingly anyway. It isn’t until the final situation, where Kenny now finds himself meeting yet another helpless person who’s landed in a spot of bother, where he must fight him.
Many have said the final moments are predictable, but I beg to differ. You don’t see a lot that’s happening in this episode, I mean why is Kenny so terrified on what’s happened, but it all comes to simple play in the end and it’s a brilliant closing moment.
Honestly, the award for this episode has to go to Lawther for his Kenny character as it’s brilliant but the episode itself, like I said, is such a close determination on the world at hand. The way we all live these days is a simple way of this type of thing happening in a day to day life. In a way, none of us are safe from the usual hack on our devices finding all our little secrets ready to leak to the world, and that’s exactly what the strong terrifying point in “Shut Up And Dance” is.
BLACK MIRRO season 3 is on Netflix now.